On our website we cover a lot of ways how to repel, kill or get rid of mosquitoes with things like natural and chemical mosquito repellants, mosquito traps and of course mosquito foggers. And although in our article on what attracts mosquitoes we already established that things like dark clothing, sweat and body odor and perfume and beauty products are a big mosquito lure, a new study shows that your genes might be also one of the reasons mosquitoes favor you not the person next to you.

A new study by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine was just released that came to the conclusion that the likelihood of mosquito biting you could be down to your genes. This is the first time any research has found actual real evidence that the genetic component might be the reason mosquitoes find one person more attractive than other, because genetic is one of the things that control our body odor. But body odor is one of the biggest things that lure mosquitoes, because they are able to sense body odor with their sensory organs.

How did the researchers determine this?

This study was based on previous research that studied attractiveness to insects based on differences in body odor, which determined that genetic might be at fault here, because it is the trait that controls body odor. And also this study was based on the fact, that female mosquitoes prefer the smell of certain people based on the body odor they produce, flying more towards these people and biting them instead of those who have body odors that aren’t attractive to mosquitoes.

In the study itself they used 18 sets of identical and 19 sets of non-identical female twins to determine mosquito attractiveness to particular gene pool. Dengue mosquitoes were released into Y-shaped tube that divides into two sections. Study participants placed their hand on the end of each of these two sections and the mosquitoes were allowed to fly towards the twin that seems more attractive to them. And then based on the mosquito count of mosquitoes each twin attracted it is determined which of the twins is more attractive to mosquitoes.

twins mosquito study

Source – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

And the results were that identical twin pairs were similarly attractive to mosquitoes, but the non identical twin pairs showed larger difference in their attractiveness to mosquitoes.

What this study means?

It means that with time this kind of study only on wider scale could allow researchers to better understand mosquitoes and what they are attracted to, to develop better ways to control and repel mosquitoes as well as control the diseases they carry, to diminish the amount of people that gets sick or die from various mosquito-born diseases. These kind of studies might be the key to create more effective mosquito repellents that are able to keep us safe from mosquito bites once and for all, by creating more efficient mosquito repellents that are specially designed to eliminate the smells or components of our body odor that attract the mosquitoes and that are the reason mosquitoes fly towards particular people in the first place.